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Trump is still ‘cherry-picking’ the coronavirus numbers to make himself look good: report

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Writing for Politico on Saturday, Anita Kumar noted that President Donald Trump suffers from a “scoreboard mentality” that requires him to break down the world into numbers and earn the best ones — and that mentality has not equipped him to offer meaningful leadership in a global pandemic.

“President Donald Trump is always keeping score,” wrote Kumar. “Sometimes it’s a simple brag — boasting about the highest State of the Union TV ratings in history, trumpeting that he appointed more judges than George Washington, inflating the number of electoral college votes he won in 2016. But cherry-picked numbers are also central to how Trump comprehends a crisis and crafts a positive narrative. As the coronavirus raced around the globe and seized the world’s economy, he has cited numbers to suit his own story that the pandemic would quickly pass and that his administration was in control.”

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As an example, in February, Trump bragged the United States had only 15 coronavirus cases, and that number would soon be zero (there are now over 14,000 cases). And he pledged to offer 1.4 million coronavirus tests by mid-March (only 100,000 have been administered).

“Public health specialists say Trump’s use of misleading numbers to downplay the coronavirus outbreak — a challenge that could make-or-break his presidency — has had dangerous consequences, leading Americans to ignore official warnings about modifying behaviors to slow the disease’s spread,” wrote Kumar.

“He’s a man that hears what he wants to hears … and he puts it through the lens of a marketer. He is a marketer,” said American Public Health Association executive director Georges Benjamin. “His image is, ‘I’m on top of this, I’m tough,’ and anything he hears that supports that theory of the case, he grabs and utilizes.”

This is nothing new. Trump routinely brags about, and inflates, everything from his crowd size to the margin of his electoral college victory. But inflating a number does not change it, and nowhere is this truer than in a pandemic.

You can read more here.

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2020 Election

Trump’s last-ditch 2020 strategy is based on a perverse fantasy — and it’s scary as hell

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Thursday night, the access journalism team at the Washington Post published a piece declaring that Donald Trump intends to "reopen much of the U.S." in May.

This article was originally published at Salon

"The Trump administration is pushing to reopen much of the country next month," Matt Zapotosky, Josh Dawsey, Jose A. Del Real and William Wan report, noting that Trump, behind "closed doors," has "sought a strategy for resuming business activity by May 1."

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2020 Election

Trump’s COVID-19 crisis has brought out his inner authoritarian — and his corruption is about to get much worse: columnist

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In a column for the conservative Bulwark, popular novelist Richard North Patterson explained that, while Donald Trump has always exhibited authoritarian tendencies, his fading chances of being re-elected due to his bumbling response to the coronavirus pandemic have now brought out his ugliest side and that he no longer feels constrained from flouting his corruption.

According to the author, "COVID-19 debilitates democracy: confining candidates, shutting legislatures, stifling peaceful assembly, curbing voter registration, and limiting personal engagement. As the pandemic proliferates, anxiety permeates an involuntarily passive populace. Donald Trump seems resolved to exploit this paralysis by squelching dissent, politicizing relief efforts, and corrupting the November election."

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WATCH: Trump and Pence host anti-LGBTQ pastor in the Oval Office to deliver Easter blessing

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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence hosted Bishop Harry Jackson, a virulently anti-LGBTQ activist, in the Oval Office Friday to deliver an Easter Blessing.

https://twitter.com/markknoller/status/1248647713698217984

Trump introduced Jackson as a “highly-respected gentleman,” and “a person that we have tremendous respect for.” Jackson in turn praised Trump for his “insightful leadership” of ensuring churches were eligible for financial support in the $2.2 trillion emergency coronavirus bill.

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